PLAINVILLE — The Heartland Community Foundation recently awarded Rooks County Healthcare Foundation (RCHF) three grants totaling $10,734 to help fund three new health care programs initiated at Rooks County Health Center (RCH).

Evidence of the first benefit of these grant funds was demonstrated at the Rooks County Free Fair in Stockton as RCH’s Nursing Department launched its county-wide initiative to train area citizens in hands only cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED). RCH personnel were providing 20 minute demonstrations on the latest in emergency lifesaving measures 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., August 10-12, Wednesday through Friday of the fair. “The mastery of these simple protocols can greatly enhance the survivability of someone stricken by a heart attack. Nearly 90% of cardiac arrests suffered in the United States outside a hospital result in death. The immediate application of hands only CPR by a bystander can double or triple the victim’s chances of survival,” stated Pam Harmon, RN and RCH Chief Nursing Officer.

Grant funds will also be used to acquire a media warmer and a blanket warmer for the Diagnostic Imaging Department to improve patient comfort during certain scans. The media warmer heats up the media contrast solution that is injected into patients for specific procedures. “This warmed solution is more comfortable for the patient, leading to less stress during the scan. Few rural hospitals have this available due to the cost,” stated Karen Harris, Director of Imaging Services at RCH.

Additionally, the Diagnostic Imaging Department will receive a blanket warmer for patients affected by the cooler temperature in the imaging areas. According to Harris, the department is kept at a constant 68 degrees because of the elaborate computerized equipment used throughout. The warmed blankets are always welcomed by those patients that are ill, recovering or are experiencing a longer procedure.

RCH also received funding to purchase four portable closed air purifying respirators to enhance safety for RCH staff and patient visitors. According to Stephanie Bjornstad, RN and RCH Quality Coordinator, these are valuable aids when coming into contact with patients who may have been exposed to highly communicable diseases such as TB, measles, SARS or chicken pox.

The Heartland Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Greater Salina Community Foundation, serves as a vehicle for charitable giving in Rooks, Trego and Ellis counties. Its mission is one of enhancing the quality of life in these counties by helping meet existing and future needs of local communities.

For more information about Rooks County Healthcare Foundation or Rooks County Health Center, visit